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This was no ‘Disco Fever’

Ah, the wonders of winter.

They are many.

Yes, I do like snow.

No, I’m not particularly up for any this winter.

I don’t, however, like ice anytime. And ice is what I found myself dealing with Friday morning.

Normally, the problem I have when I head out to work in the darkness of early morning is getting my defroster to clean off the windshield so I can see to drive.

It’s amazing how it always seems to clean off the passenger side so nicely and leaves the driver side oh so frosty. I usually have to plant my foot on the accelerator so that the rpms are in the two to three range to even get that off the windshield.

If I could drive down the road the defrosting would get accomplished much faster, but I might end up taking out a few parked cars and early-morning walkers in the process.

Guess I’ll stick with revving the engine and hope the neighbors don’t come running out of their homes in their nightclothes to bop me on the head for disrupting their sleep.

Friday morning, frost was the least of my problems. As a matter of fact, all of the windows were crystal clear.

It’s the doors that were the problem. None of them would open.

I’ve had them freeze shut before, but usually can get them open by performing a sort of rendition of the 1970s dance fad “the bump” against the door.

Thank goodness it was still dark and most neighbors were still in bed or at the breakfast table Friday because it looked like some kind of tacky disco in my driveway. All I needed was John Travolta to accompany me.

So after my wonderful dance skills failed to do the trick I resorted to the old standby – call dad. I hoped I wouldn’t be waking him and, thankfully, didn’t.

He suggested getting some hot water and pouring it around the door.

I got hot water from the tap for fear I might get some on the windows and make them crack. I carefully poured it around the edge and pulled.

Nothing budged.

I poured a little more down into the area of the lock. Surely that would work.

Nope. Still no movement.

I went to the basement and resorted to trying some de-icer. Still no luck.

It was time for step two – the Internet.

A search gave me some other alternatives and warned me not to try pouring hot water because it could get on the windows and crack them.

The first suggestion from the website was to use a lighter to heat the key for about 15 seconds so it would thaw the lock when the key was inserted.

That’s bound to work, I thought.

I got the lighter I used to use to light the grill when I used to grill out.

Standing beside the car, ready to insert the key before the 24-degree temperature could cool it, I pulled the lighter trigger … and pulled it again … and again … and again.

Obviously, this Bic just wasn’t going to flick.

I went back inside and tore up the kitchen drawers looking for the other one I knew was hidden there somewhere. Ah, there it is!

I went back out to the car and pulled the trigger. It lit for, oh, about a second before the wind blew it out. After repeating this five or six times I finally decided to try putting the key in the lock in hopes the second or two the flame actually touched the key might have been enough.

It wasn’t.

By this time, I had discovered that the lock apparently didn’t unlatch fully when I used my remote “unlocker” despite the fact the little things popped up.

(I’m so well versed in automobile lingo.)

I tried locking and unlocking the driver side door several times, but it still wouldn’t open. I moved to the passenger side, repeated the process, and voila! It opened!

I learned one more thing Friday morning. Climbing across a console from the passenger seat isn’t easy when you’re almost 50 and “chunky.”

Nonetheless, I finally made it and forced the driver door open.

Needless to say, both doors stood open as I went back inside the house to get my stuff for work.

I wasn’t about to close them again until I was safely inside.



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